Lawmakers gather to sort out possible special session items

Published 10:15 am Thursday, January 7, 2016

ST. PAUL — Three working groups of Minnesota House and Senate members are convening to see if they can salvage a potential special session.

The panels holding hearings Thursday are reviewing ideas for bringing Minnesota in compliance with a federal high-security driver’s license law, for extending unemployment benefits for laid-off steelworkers and for tackling racial economic disparities.

Gov. Mark Dayton wants all three on the agenda for a special session he hoped to call for later this month. But disagreements over how each bill would be fashioned have diminished chances for that emergency session. Dayton wants to know as soon as Friday if a deal on any or all items is within reach.

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The regular legislative session begins in early March.